Passive Techniques for Manipulating Field Soil Temperatures
COLD REGIONS RESEARCH AND ENGINEERING LAB HANOVER NH
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Recent concerns about global climate change have focused attention on the methodology for manipulating field soil temperatures. The objective of this study was to evaluate several simple, inexpensive, passive systems for changing soil surface temperature in the field. Four classes of treatments were evaluated including plastic ground covers, fabric ground covers, fabric greenhouses, and open-top chambers. In general, treatments raised daytime maximums and lowered nighttime minimums. In some cases these opposite effects balanced, and there was no change in mean daily temperature. Five treatments changed mean daily temperature by a least or - 1.0 deg C, these included black plastic -2.6 deg C, two clear plastic treatments 1.0 deg C, Reemay greenhouses 1.0 deg C, and Reemay ground covers 2.4 deg C. A multiple linear regression analysis of maximum temperatures indicated that the temperature differential between treatment and control plots was most strongly controlled by solar radiation time wind speed. Differences among treatments were greatest on sunny days and minimal on rainy days. Both the present study and previous studies suggest that these passive systems can alter mean daily soil surface temperatures by, at most, or - 2.5 deg C.
- Soil Mechanics
- Air Conditioning, Heating, Lighting and Ventilating